UPDATE, with Trump tweets “Obstruction of justice in action” is how one member of the House Judiciary Committee today is describing the hearing at which former White House communications director Hope Hicks is answering – or, rather, not answering – questions about obstruction of justice.
“I am watching Obstruction of Justice in action, as @TheJusticeDept is objecting to everything that Hope Hicks wants to say during her tenure in the White House,” tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) today. “The Administration’s position is absurd & they will lose in court. What is the @realDonaldTrump Administration hiding?”
Lieu’s frustration over the Hicks testimony was apparent elsewhere on the congressman’s Twitter page. “Excited I got Hope Hicks to answer one question about her tenure at the White House,” Lieu tweeted today. “I asked if on her first day, ‘was it a sunny day or a cloudy day?’ You’ll need to wait for the transcript to see her answer b/c @GOP is mad I’m live tweeting the absurdity of absolute immunity.”
Hicks is testifying today at a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, and though a transcript won’t be made public for a day or two, it’s safe to assume Democrats are pressing the former White House Communications Director on topics ranging from Donald Trump’s possible obstruction of justice and the firing of James Comey to – as CNN reports, citing unnamed sources – the “hush-money scheme” to cover up Trump’s extramarital affairs.
CNN is reporting this afternoon that Hicks has denied knowledge of campaign-era hush payments.
By mid-day, Trump had returned to Twitter following an early morning blast, this time blasting Democrats for “putting wonderful Hope Hicks through hell, for 3 years now, after total exoneration by Robert Mueller & the Mueller Report. They were unhappy with result so they want a Do Over. Very unfair & costly to her. Will it ever end?” He resurrected Hillary Clinton’s acid washed emails for good measure.
See the tweets below.
The White House has stated that Hicks will not answer questions about her time as White House aide. Though Democrats have rejected such assertions of immunity regarding the White House era, the committee is expected to question Hicks on events prior to Trump’s swearing-in, including questions about the Trump campaign.
Among the more than 180 times Hicks is mentioned in the Mueller Report is her accounting of Trump being furious over Mueller’s appointment in 2017: “Hicks said she had only seen the president like that one other time, after the Access Hollywood tape came out during the campaign.”
Hicks, the communications chief at Fox News, was subpoenaed by the committee in May, but agreed only last week to answer questions, in private.
In recent days, Hicks’ upcoming appearance has taken on the aura of a primetime soap, with pundits speculating on whether the once strong bond between Trump and Hicks had frayed since she left the White House last year. A CNN report cites two people familiar with the pair as saying Trump has asked, on “multiple” occasions, “What happened to Hope?”